Countryside Kids

MISSION: Countryside's ministry to children and youth is an inclusive community building lifelong Christians who gather together, grow in their faith, and go into the world.


  • Leadership: Preparing to be bold change-makers in the community
  • Acceptance: An inclusive community, welcoming all children and youth
  • Faith: Continually growing as a follower of Jesus
  • Grace: Loved and valued by God no matter what
  • Relationship: We have fun with friends while building respectful connections with self, peers, and adults.
  • Safety: We diligently attend to the physical and emotional safety of all who gather in our church community.

Learn more about Countryside Kids programs below or check out this overview of our current programs!

Interested in volunteering in Children's Ministry? Contact Becky Ericson to join our Countryside Kids Crew. More information regarding our Safe Gatherings Policy can be found here.

Contact Becky Ericson, Children's Ministry Coordinator for more information.

countryside kids registration Form

countryside kids calendar

Our Children's Ministries

Newborn - age 5

From 9:20am-noon, Sunday morning child care is available for newborn through kindergarten in room 116 of the education wing. Please be sure to stop at the check-in area first before bringing children to the nursery.

Sunday School Groups

Children's Sunday Small Groups (Sunday School) for preschool through elementary school meet at 9:30 and Children's Chapel for elementary school students meets around 11:15. Groups start in mid-August and meet until the weekend before Memorial Day. Scroll down for more details.

WednesdayS for kids

During the school year, children in 1st - 5th grade are invited to join the fun Wednesdays nights, with worship and group games from 6-6:10, bells, worship and Bible story rotations from 6:10-7:10, and group activities from 7:10-7:30. Meets most weeks beginning after Labor Day through the first Wednesday in May. Learn more below!

special events

Countryside offers a variety of special events and family opportunities. Bitty Bells is a special bell ringing opportunity for our preschool friends. Subscribe to our Countryside Kids newsletter or follow us on Facebook to keep up on the latest!

checking in at countryside

For in-person programs, plan to stop by our children's check-in area upon arrival (located by the education wing entrance - look for CHILDREN on the wall). Students are invited to join their Sunday Small Groups or Wednesdays for Kids as early as 10 minutes before the start time.

Worshipping with Children

For children in worship with their families, children are able to create their own worship bag to use in the sanctuary with coloring pages, toys and books to look at during worship.  Special worship bulletins that tie into the day’s sermon are also available for students in preschool-6th grade. Children’s messages are offered at all services (currently by video). 

We also offer a special Family Worship Room along the main sanctuary hall. This room streams the worship service and offers rocking chairs and comfortable seating for parents, along with toys, books and a small slide for children who need to move during worship. Additionally, our fellowship area includes a coffee bar with a variety of options (including hot cocoa) and another seating area where the 9:30 and 11am services are streamed.

Changing tables are available in restrooms throughout the facility, including both the men's and women's restrooms outside the sanctuary.


Countryside United Methodist Church offers Child Care for our youngest disciples, children ages 6 weeks through 5 years old. These services are provided on Sunday mornings from 9:20-noon and for some weeknight activities. Care is provided by our trained and certified staff who want to share God's love to the highest degree as they care for your children in a safe, warm, welcoming environment.


WHAT TO EXPECT: When bringing your children to childcare, please stop first at our Children's Check-In Area just outside the education wing. If you are visiting for the first time, be sure to check in with a phone number that will be accessible, as our staff will use your check-in for contact information should they need to reach you.

Once checked in, take your child to Room 116 where our childcare staff will be ready to welcome you. Please make sure any diaper bags or essential items your child needs are labeled. Please keep your phones on vibrate so that our staff can reach you if necessary. When worship or Sunday School concludes, pick up your child from Room 116. 

CHILDCARE OUTSIDE OF SUNDAY MORNINGS: If not already provided during your group's meeting time, please request child care by submitting this form. Requests must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting or event.


PLEASE NOTE: This form is only for Countryside UMC Church events. Visit the Countryside Child Development Center for inquiries and further information about weekday childcare and preschool opportunities.

SUnday SMall Groups from 9:30-10:30

Ages 3 years - Elementary School

Small Groups for ages 3 years - Elementary School meet  on Sundays from 9:30-10:30 (mid-August through the Sunday before Memorial Day).

Children 3 years through Elementary School are invited to join Sunday Small Groups from 9:30-10:30. 

Preschool/kindergarten* students meet in Room 107, where their classroom leaders will guide them in a Bible story, age-appropriate activities and/or crafts, and free play time. 

Elementary students* head to Room 210 (the gathering room) for a Bible story (typically through video), snack, and a variety of games and activities that connect back to the story for the week.  The 9:30 and 11:00 elementary groups see the exact same Bible story, but participate in different activities.


Families of kindergarten students may choose between our early childhood small group or our early elementary small group. The preschool room includes developmentally appropriate lessons for younger children and free play time - perfect for students with lots of energy and creativity. The elementary room will be more structured, with fun games and crafts to reinforce the Bible story.


We recognize that 6th grade is middle school in some districts and elementary school in others. Kids in this age group are invited to choose when they are ready to move up to youth group. During 6th grade, they are welcome to participate in elementary programming, youth programming, or a combination of the two. 

CHILDREN'S CHAPEL (11:15ISH-NOON), Elementary School

Students in elementary school are invited to join Children's Chapel during 11:00 worship (meets mid-August through the Sunday before Memorial Day).

Check-in outside the education wing upon arrival at Countryside. Once checked in, elementary students head to the sanctuary to participate in opening worship. Students may sit with their family/adults or sit in pews with Countryside Kids Crew Leaders. Experiencing worship is important for this age group and there is developing research that indicates children are more likely to stay with their faith when they are older if they observe and participate in worship with a parent/guardian. After the children's message, all students will leave and head out for Children's Chapel in Room 209. During chapel time, students will follow a monthly theme where we engage in a Bible story through a variety of activities and crafts. The 11:00 chapel uses the same Bible story as 9:30, but offers different games and activities. Parents and guardians should plan to pick students up from this room at noon.

wednesdays for Kids

Wednesdays for Kids, our mid-week programming, is available from 6-7:30pm for students in 1st-5th most weeks beginning after Labor Day and running through the first week of May. 

Visit the check-in station, then head to our big gathering area (Room 210) in the upper level of the education wing (doors open at 6:20). At Wednesdays for Kids, we keep the kids moving with worship and camp-style group games from 6-6:10, followed by rotations of bells, worship, and Bible story from 6:10 -7:10. We will wrap up the evening with a few more camp-style games back in the Gathering Room (Room 210) where parents/guardians can pick their student up at 7:30pm. 

If you have not completed a registration form for this year, please complete one prior to attending your first Wednesdays for Kids or Sunday Small Group.

Register for Countryside Kids HERE


Sundays in the Summer look a little different at Countryside Kids! Summer is a chance to slow down a bit and an important time for our elementary students to experience worship with their families.


Childcare is available for ages 0-5 years from 9:20-noon on regular worship Sundays in the education wing. In our childcare room, children have the opportunity to play and explore under the supervision of our church childcare attendants.

Childcare meets year round with a few exceptions or adjusted hours around Sundays with different worship schedules.

Preschool & Kindergarten

Preschool/kindergarten summer small group meets from 9:30-10:30 in the education wing during the month of June. Kids will enjoy some free play time, along with a Bible study, snack and a couple of activities or crafts related to the Bible study.

During the month of July and the first two weeks in August, preschool combines with our childcare room. A Bible story will continue to be shared, along with  the opportunity to play under the supervision of our childcare staff.

School year small groups kick off tentatively on August 18, 2024.

Elementary School

Elementary Summer Children's Chapel meets immediately following the children's message during 9:30 worship. Summer Children's Chapel meets during the month of June.

During the month of July and the first two Sundays in August, elementary children are encouraged to experience worship with their grown-ups. Experiencing worship together is an important part of faith development, and summer gives us a great opportunity for family worship.

School year small groups tentatively kick off on August 18, 2024.

Participating From Home

Unable to join us in person? Countryside and Countryside Kids offer a variety of options for growing in your faith at home!

Join live worship services at 9:30 or 11am every Sunday on our YouTube Channel. Worship features a Children's Message with a weekly Family Faith Moment to give parents and guardians ideas of simple things they can do at home to share your faith and encourage your children.

Subscribe to our weekly Children's Ministry Newsletter, and you will receive links to each week's Bible story video. Want to take it a step further? There is a "parent guide" for home that provides some simple activities you can do at home to add to the Bible story. The newsletter also features links to the weekly ParentCue, a description of that week's Bible story lesson and some tips on keeping the discussion going at home. For students in elementary school, links are provided to age-appropriate devotionals based on the week's Bible story.

Be sure to follow Countryside Kids on Facebook. We regularly post ideas and tips based on our Sunday Small Group and Wednesdays for Kids lessons.

Health & Safety NOtes

Countryside UMC utilizes the Safe Gatherings program of certification with our staff and volunteer crew. Certified individuals have undergone a background check and taken an abuse prevention and detection training program online. We require having two unrelated adults present for all programming (or one adult, one youth), with the adults/youth at least 5 years older than they age they are serving. Additional training is provided on an ongoing basis to help volunteers and staff best meet the needs of the children of Countryside.

For more details about our safety and health protocols, please check out our parent handbook.

Special Events & Family Ministry

Join us at one of our special events this year!

Fall Kick Off - Putt Putt Palooza.  Join us at Sports Center (10th Ave.) on Sunday, August 27, 2023 for some family Putt Putt fun! We'll meet in the pavilion/shelter at 3pm for a brief intro to our 2023-24 school year, then head out to play a round of putt putt golf.

Trunk-or-Treat. October 29, 2023 from 3-5pm in the south parking lot. Sponsored by the Sports Ministry Team. Contact Paul with any questions,

Countryside Kids Christmas: Lessons & Carols with Countryside Kids.  Countryside Kids will lead a special Christmas worship on Sunday, December 3. It will be a "Lessons and Carols" style of worship, where the kids will tell part of the Christmas story, then lead in music. Join us in the gathering area after worship for some Christmas cookies!

Easter Egg Discovery. Join us at this outdoor family celebration of Easter! Several stations to participate in, including an egg hunt! March 23, 2024 from 10-11:30am.

Summer Kick Off Family Picnic. June 2, 2024 from 5:30-7:30 at Gage Park Steak Grill Shelter (tentative). Hot dogs, water, and plates/utensils/napkins will be provided. Last names A-L are invited to bring a side dish to share. Last names K-Z are invited to bring a dessert to share.

Vacation Bible Camp. June 24-28, 2024 from 9am-noon. Ages 4 years through 5th grade.

Summer Pool Party. Date TBA after spring break. For CUMC, CCDC & VBC families!